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Under President Trump, there has been a noticeable shift in attitudes towards nuclear weapons. For decades, U.S. presidents from both parties undertook significant arms control with President Obama announcing the aim to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Trump has exhibited a different approach. In addition to abandoning existing arms control agreements, he is seeking to restore nuclear weapons to a central role in American military strategy—an expensive proposition. How else has nuclear policy changed under the Trump administration? What is the future of nuclear weapons, and how will the outcome of the 2020 election shape it? Join the World Affairs Council, former secretary of defense William J. Perry, and Tom Collina of the Ploughshares Fund, to discuss the future of nuclear policy and the upcoming election.
About the Speakers
William J. Perry served as the U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering in the Carter administration and then as Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. He oversaw the development of the strategic nuclear systems that are currently in our arsenal. His new offset strategy ushered in the age of stealth, smart weapons, GPS, and technologies that changed the face of modern warfare. In 2007, Dr. Perry collaborated with George Shultz, Sam Nunn, and Henry Kissinger to publish several ground-breaking editorials in the Wall Street Journal that linked the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons with urgent but practical steps that could be taken to reduce nuclear dangers. Perry’s 2015 memoir, My Journey at the Nuclear Brink, is a personal account of his lifelong effort to reduce nuclear dangers. He founded the William J. Perry Project to educate the public on these dangers. In 2020 Perry co-authored THE BUTTON: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump. He is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford University. Perry is the father of five, grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of four. He continues to travel the world in pursuit of his goal of reducing the threat from nuclear weapons.
TOM Z. COLLINA is Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund. He is the co-author with William J. Perry of THE BUTTON: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump, published in June 2020. Tom has thirty years of Washington, DC, experience in nuclear weapons, missile defense, and nonproliferation issues, and has held senior positions at the Arms Control Association, the Institute for Science and International Security, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has been directly involved with efforts to end U.S. nuclear testing, limit ineffective anti-missile programs, extend the Nonproliferation Treaty, and secure Senate ratification of the New START Treaty. He has published widely in major magazines and journals and has appeared frequently in the national media, including the New York Times, CNN, and NPR. He has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and regularly briefs congressional staff. Tom has a degree in International Relations from Cornell University and lives in Takoma Park, MD with his wife, three children and dog. When away from the office he does not think about nuclear war.
About the Moderator
Kathleen A. Doty is an Advisor for Treaties & Agreements at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She has more than ten years of international law experience and specializes in international security governance. Prior to joining PNNL, Doty served as Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law. There, she taught and conducted research on international law issues ranging from the DPRK sanctions regime to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Previously, she practiced treaty law as Assistant Counsel for International Law and Arms Control at the U.S. Department of the Navy, Office of the General Counsel. She has also held staff positions with the American Society of International Law, the California International Law Center, and served as a judicial clerk on the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals. Doty’s leadership positions have included Vice Chair of the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, and Chair of the Non-Proliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. She served as an NGO observer at the U.N. High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament, the 63d Session on the Commission of the Status of Women, and Guantánamo military commissions proceedings in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Her writing has appeared in law reviews and online at IntLawGrrls. Doty received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Smith College and her Juris Doctor from the University of California-Davis School of Law.
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